Niall Kearns is a fixture within the Monaghan senior football panel.
But in the very recent past, he underwent a blood transfusion. This week, he joined us to tell his story.
"I had to go under the knife 6-7 months ago," he explained.
"I was very glad of the blood that was there and all the donations that were made over the years. People don't realise what's around the corner, never really knowing when you might need it next.
"You can never give enough. It's just something that needs to be done and people should think about [giving blood] more often. People need to go to clinics to see if they can. It's such a good cause to go and donate and help other people as well."
Kearns also explained the heart condition he had been living with. He discovered the problem after bending down to retrieve a charger and feeling a shooting pain in his chest as he did so.
"It was only picked up when I was 16. At that point, I was referred to Crumlin Hospital up until the age of 18. So in Crumlin, they were just monitoring it," he said.
"I was on medication to keep the valve safe and protected. But I was then transferred over to the Mater Hospital in Dublin and they monitored it for another two years until it started getting bigger and bigger."
That leaky valve in his heart necessitated surgery eventually.
Off The Ball and Giveblood.ie want to get more conversations happening in everyday life about blood donation and why it’s such an important habit to start, continue and encourage in others. When you give blood you really do help another person who is struggling with ill health or who has had a serious accident.
You might not be able to attend your local clinic every time it comes to your town, but it’s really important to think about becoming a regular blood donor.
Check your eligibility & find your clinic: * Check your eligibility by doing the Giveblood.ie quick eligibility quiz.
Find out where your local clinic is or register your interest in the link below.
Find a clinic right here.
For more information, check out:
Or check out Giveblood on Youtube.
You can watch the full chat with Niall Kearns above via our YouTube channel.